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Sodexo Australia helps Australian Indigenous Coffee roast the flavours of the Pilbara

September 16, 2019

Sodexo, global leader in quality of life services, has supported Australian Indigenous Coffee (AIC), once a small family business, to become Western Australia’s (WA) largest Aboriginal-owned coffee supplier in just six years.

AIC, begun by brothers and Palyku men Ezekiel and Blaze Kwaymullina, was founded on the rich flavours of their traditional lands of the Pilbara region, a “middle of the road blend that is strong, chocolatey and earthy.” 

The business began in 2013 when Ezekiel and Blaze were invited to supply a small amount of coffee to clients in the region. They soon realised clients needed a complete hot beverage solution, including beans, training, machines and servicing. 

A meeting in 2016 would change the course of the company, with Sodexo, which provides integrated services to a range of segments, including energy and resources, inviting AIC to supply coffee and services.

Today, Sodexo’s partnership contributes significant value to AIC’s sales revenue annually, with AIC, based in Myaree, Perth, supplying coffee to 20 Sodexo sites across Australia. 

AIC has also been selected as the Australian coffee supplier for Sodexo’s global coffee offer, Aspretto, a premium coffee lounge experience which uses sustainable and Fair-Trade Certified products, tailored to each country.

Ezekiel Kwaymullina, CEO, AIC said Sodexo’s support had allowed AIC to grow sustainably and be competitive in the corporate market. 

Ezekiel Kwaymullina, CEO, Australian Indigenous Coffee: “Sodexo investing in AIC has been a major part of our growth. If you don’t have support from a company like Sodexo, with that kind of willingness and commitment to help you grow, it can be very difficult to go to that next stage. Sodexo’s support has allowed AIC to perfect and consolidate its business model into a national, full-service coffee supply company, where we forecast a robust growth profile into FY20 and beyond.” 

Supporting AIC is part of one of Sodexo’s key actions of its Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) where it commits to investing in Indigenous-owned businesses. 

In its 2019 Elevate RAP, Sodexo noted $23 million had been spent from 2015 – 2017 with businesses in regional and remote locations of Australia. 

Mark Chalmers, CFO and Country President, Sodexo Australia said the company was proud to see AIC grow sustainably. 

Mark Chalmers, CFO and Country President, Sodexo Australia: “Working with Aboriginal-owned organisations helps develop the business and doesn’t cost anymore. What you get in return is a quality product or service for a competitive price. Spending money with Indigenous suppliers allows the dollars to be utilised within the community and create greater value, which makes a real difference.”

Through its success, AIC has given back to communities including providing young Indigenous men the opportunity to explore a career in hospitality by undertaking a barista course via the Clontarf Foundation, of which Sodexo is a national partner. AIC also supports a Beans to Books program with Australia’s only independent Indigenous publisher, Mugabala Books, to raise funds to support Indigenous literacy in remote communities.

Sodexo continues to support communities across Australia as part of its Better Tomorrow 2025 corporate social responsibility road map, which recently led to Sodexo being named second out of more than 100 companies for Good Company’s “Best Company’s to Give Back 2019”.  

For more information about AIC visit www.australianindigenouscoffee.com.au

Learn more about Sodexo’s Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan.  

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